Where’s the ice? Ice rinks and frozen lake activities on hold

It may be chilly right now but a mild winter has prevented many area lakes from freezing over

MADISON, Wis. — It may be chilly right now but a mild winter has prevented many area lakes from freezing over. In addition to the lakes, the Madison Parks Department has kept all 13 of the city’s ice rinks or ice lagoons closed.

The three main rinks located at Vilas, Tenney and Elver parks are closed. Ann Shea, a spokesperson for the city, told News 3 Now that the cross country ski trail and the sledding hill are open at Elver thanks to machine made snow.

The average date of Lake Mendota to freeze is Dec. 20 it remains unfrozen as of today. The latest Lake Mendota froze was Jan. 30 in 1932.

“This does bring up a problem of people wanting to enjoy the frozen lakes in general. These lakes are such a driver of our economy here in Madison and Dane County. People want to be out on the ice, fishing they want to be snowmobiling, skiing,” Karin Swanson, a spokesperson with the Clean Lakes Alliance said. “If we don’t have frozen lakes in our area we are not attracting those additional people.”

Swanson told News 3 Now that the Clean Lakes Alliance will still host their Frozen Assets festival. It will still take place in February even if Mendota doesn’t freeze. Many of the events normally take place on the ice, but they will host the events on land if the lake doesn’t freeze over.

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